Three months later, the cloudiness has cleared up.
Last week, Charles’ union representative informed him that the Washoe County School District had decided to allow him to return to the classroom.
“As far as going back, I get my job back and I will not do what I did last year,” Charles said.
However, Reed High cut ties with him in mid-June prior to the district’s recent decision of reinstatement. Reed High principal Mary Vesco refused to comment on Charles’ status last week, but Washoe County School District Public Information Officer Victoria Campbell said the official stance by Reed was “Ray Charles is no longer the head baseball coach and the school decided to go in a different direction.”
So after two seasons as the head baseball coach, Charles will not be back in the Raiders’ dugout.
Making it stranger is the fact Reed didn’t replace Charles once it decided to go in a different direction. Now, a group of parents is keeping the program headed forward as much as possible. Parents coached the two summer baseball teams and raised money to renovate the infield and install a drainage system.
“It is a little weird because when Reed High School let me know they were going to go in a different direction, I still hadn’t really heard anything from the school district,” Charles said. “It’s a little disappointing, but at the same time you have to deal with adversity.
“It’s like what I tell the kids all the time. I think things happen for a reason, and I’m just going to try to be positive about it. I’m not mad at Reed, but I’m a little disappointed. I’ve been there a lot longer than Mary has, and for her not to call me or tell me face to face why and how come, I think that was a little disappointing.”
Charles didn’t take the baseball job solely to have the opportunity to coach his oldest son, Web, who played for the Raiders JV last year, but it would have been a bonus. Now, he plans on taking the spring off from coaching, a crazy thought considering he coached Reed varsity softball from 1999 to 2010, and the RHS JV softball team from 1994 to 1996.
“I’ve been at Reed High School since 1994, so it’s never been about coaching my son, but then the opportunity arose. So that’s a little disappointing it didn’t work out,” Charles said. “He worked on that field as much as I have in terms of helping me. It was definitely some good father-son bonding, so it’s sad. But at the same time, I can’t coach him forever. Some other person will do a good job with him.
“One of the things that I’ve been able to do since I’m not coaching was take some time off and watch my own kids during the summer time. It’s actually been pretty nice. I’ve coached a lot of other people’s kids and worked on the field. I don’t think the Reed administration realizes how much time I spent working on that field to be honest with you. I took a lot of pride in it, and now that I’m done, it will give me a lot of time to do other things. I think I’ll miss coaching in the springtime, but my family means the world to me.”